Townsville Fire against Sydney Flames at Townsville Stadium. fire's Suzy Batkovic during time-out. Picture: Evan Morgan
Townsville Fire against Sydney Flames at Townsville Stadium. fire's Suzy Batkovic during time-out. Picture: Evan Morgan

Batkovic believes best is yet to come for Fire

TOWNSVILLE Fire captain Suzy Batkovic is adamant that the best is yet to come from the defending WNBL champions this season following their scrappy win over the Sydney Flames.

The Fire are still developing their new combinations after Tess Madgen missed most of the preseason with national duties while Stella Beck has only recently recovered from a foot injury.

That lack of cohesion showed at times in Saturday's 79-76 win over the injury-hit Flames, with acting Fire coach Mark Wrobel describing their offence as "clunky" after the match.

The Fire improved their record to 2-2 against Sydney which has them level with third-placed Adelaide and Batkovic felt they would only get better as they spend more time on the court.

Townsville Fire against Sydney Flames at Townsville Stadium. Fire's Tess Madgen. Picture: Evan Morgan
Townsville Fire against Sydney Flames at Townsville Stadium. Fire's Tess Madgen. Picture: Evan Morgan

"Last year we were 2-2 - same scenario - and we won the championship. The positive thing is we're actually not flowing that great and it hasn't all connected for us just yet," she said.

"Obviously it was a little bit disruptive with Tess being away and people that haven't played with her so we're still finding what people do and knowing when a shot's going to go up.

"For us it's definitely getting through a play and trusting what the coaches have asked us to run. At times we're getting bogged down on the first side which is a bit of an issue.

"When we have actually slowed down and let the play work for us it's been really good. It's just having a bit of trust in the play and new people understanding what we're exactly looking for.

"The coaches have put a really good team together, we just haven't completely clicked yet and hopefully in the next week or two that's going to start flowing more and more."

Townsville Fire against Sydney Flames at Townsville Stadium. Flames' Ally Wilson and Fire's Mikhaela Donnelly. Picture: Evan Morgan
Townsville Fire against Sydney Flames at Townsville Stadium. Flames' Ally Wilson and Fire's Mikhaela Donnelly. Picture: Evan Morgan

Batkovic produced a masterclass against Sydney with 30 points and 12 rebounds, including 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Fire overturned a six-point deficit in the last three minutes of the game.

The Flames couldn't find a way to combat Batkovic's inside presence down the stretch, but the skipper was quick to praise her team mates for helping her to make things happen.

"Whatever we need to get done on the floor, I try and find a way, but it also doesn't happen with just me. There's other people that stepped up in different areas which helps with the win," Batkovic said.

"I would've liked the margin to be a bit bigger than it was, but I'm proud of the group too because we found ways to grind it out and get the win on a tough day at the office for us."